This article surveys the work of one of the most prominent theorists of accidents today, Paul Virilio. Particular focus is given to the May 6, 2010, Flash Crash. This event is used to measure the worth of Virilio’s accidentology, as it is viewed as a harbinger of the integral accident, a catastrophic incident that is experienced simultaneously and universally. While Virilio is supported for drawing attention to the technologically mediated accidents that threaten hyperconnected societies, his method and focus are found wanting. His preference for suggestion over qualification means that he eschews empirical elaboration, and his fixation on the political economy of speed proceeds without reference to a political economy of wealth. This asymmetry results in grand theorizing about general conditions that do not exist, and it overlooks the ways in which accidents, crises, and disasters are endemic to the economic system.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 280-295
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.